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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I was recently fitted with my 1st pair of variable lenses but

Resolved Question:

I was recently fitted with my 1st pair of variable lenses but I can't say it opened a whole new world to me. The most I can get in focus is about 1.5 column if you look at a newspaper for instance. I returned it and optician found that focal point was out but even the second pair is just the same. Is this what variable lenses are like? I also got thrown a normal pair of reading specs which are absolutely in focus, so that makes me wonder. Could I have your opinion on this please?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 7 years ago.
Hello Mandy,

Variable lenses are also called "no line bifocal" or progressive bifocals. This means there is a gradual change in precription as you look from the distance part and move down to the reading part.

The advantage of the variable lenses are that you don't see the line as in a typical bifocal. The disadvantage is that there is a smaller area of clear vision and more distortion around the edges of the reading part. Standard bifocal will offer you clearer vision and easier to find where the bifocal is because there is a line to demarcate it.

The first step is to make sure the prescription is right, which you have already done already. Another change could be to get a frame that is larger. This increases the clear area of focus. Some people cannot adapt to these lenses, and may have to return to regular reading glasses or standard bifocals.

Remember to press the green ACCEPT button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Feel free to ask any additional questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks that answers some of my doubts. What I would like to know however, is what is normal to other people? The one's I spoke to seems to have a much wider view but it could be as you say, different for everyone. It's just that I feel so silly to go back again and tell them it's still not right.
Expert:  Dr. James replied 7 years ago.
No reason for feel silly. These variable lenses are pricey, so you should be happy with them. Ask them to check where the optical centers of the lenses are to ensure they are made correctly. Try a slightly larger frame. From what you are telling me, the current lenses you have would not be useful to you.

I have had a few patients return not happy. So, if the changes above do not help, then you may be the few where these types of lenses are not appropriate.

Please remember to accept if my answer has been helpful.
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